POLICE Commissioner Gary has lashed out against the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service Social and Welfare Association (TTPSSWA) for its concerns about the safety of tasers.
In a statement on Thursday, the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) said, “The CoP is therefore astonished by ‘concerns’ raised by the TTPSSWA that police officers have potential exposure of liability should someone be injured or killed by the use of tasers.
“The CoP says it cannot make sense to any citizen that the Police Service operating in the 21st century has not been equipped with tools that limit police officers to only the use of a firearm.
“Currently, tasers have been adopted for use in the USA, Canada, UK, and France.”
“Whilst the CoP understands that the use of tasers may have varying effects, it cannot be disputed that the risks associated with its use are inherently minimal as compared to the use of a firearm which can only have one result.”
He called on the association to communicate with him before expressing their concerns.
Officers of the Guard and Emergency Branch, Task Force and Emergency Response Patrol Units, have been issued with tasers and trained in the use of non-lethal weapons.
The release also supported the use of tasers in referring to the police killing of Michael Stuart of La Puerta, Diego Martin, on Monday. Stuart was fatally shot after allegedly lunging at officers while armed with a hammer. A relative said he suffers from seizures.
Referring to the incident, the release stated, “The recent unfortunate situation of a troubled citizen challenging officers with a hammer is a perfect example, had these officers been issued with tasers, then there was a very good chance that the victim would have survived, thereby, minimizing the use of force.”